WATER SAFE: Zane Chappell, 9, dunks his little brother Kai, 4, in their much-loved inflatable pool.
WATER SAFE: Zane Chappell, 9, dunks his little brother Kai, 4, in their much-loved inflatable pool. Campbell Gellie

Pool inspector ready to issue on-the-spot fines

POOL inspector Terry Scott will be handing out fines to save children's lives this summer.

The council inspector has the power to give on-the-spot fines to people who are not following safety regulations.

Mr Scott said if a pool didn't comply he would find out.

"People aren't backward in ringing up and saying 'next door have a pool and there is no fence around it'," he said.

"For one of those blow-up pools that's a $795 fine. You get complaints all the time about that."

If a pool is capable of holding more than 300mm of water it must comply with the regulation.

Mr Scott said most inflatable pools could hold around 750mm of water.

"They require a full blown fence around them (but) they don't write it on the box," he said.

"You can drown in a bath tub or bucket of water, but they say swimming pools are more inviting because they are clear and clean."

Caroline Ready bought an inflatable pool at the end of summer and said she understood why there were fines.

"I understand why you need a fence. When it comes to kids' safety it's always important and the rules are there for a reason."

"My boys (Kai and Zane Chappell) have been in it non-stop but they certainly can't just run and jump in it."

Ms Ready said her boys had always been comfortable in water.

"They have always been around water but I haven't wanted them to be over confident," she said.

"That's what makes the biggest difference."

Officer in Charge of the Gladstone Ambulance Station Ron Gibson said pool safety was about common sense.

"It is a common cause of death between one-to-four-year olds. Pool fences must meet the Australian standards.

"This can mean the difference between life and death." he said.

"The last one we went to was in a garbage bin, we don't get called to many pool incidences."

Officer Gibson said parents should do a CPR or First Aid course.

"If a child is immersed in water, the sooner it can be treated the better chance they have," he said.

"The couple of seconds or minutes that it takes for the ambulance to get there feels like an eternity if you're helpless."